Liberty University filed a $10 million lawsuit against its former president and chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. on Thursday.
The lawsuit alleges that Falwell breached his contract with the university by covering up his family’s relationship with Giancarlo Granda, a Florida-based pool attendant. Falwell resigned his position with Liberty University in August 2020 after the relationship came to light. He dropped a defamation lawsuit against Liberty in December 2020.
Liberty University has sued Jerry Falwell Jr. for $10 million, accusing its former president and chancellor of breach of contract and fiduciary duty. The suit claims he withheld scandalous and potentially damaging information from Liberty’s board. https://t.co/FsiGygpVI6
— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 16, 2021
“The actions of Falwell Jr. and Granda have injured Liberty’s enrollment, impacted its donor base, disrupted its faculty, enabled the 2019 Employment Agreement that proved detrimental to Liberty’s interests, and damaged Liberty’s reputation,” the suit claims.
The lawsuit alleges that Falwell “has refused fully to return Liberty’s Confidential Information and other personal property” that he has possession of. It also claims that Falwell’s failure to disclose his and his wife’s personal and business relationship with Giancarlo Granda damaged the university because Liberty would not have renewed Falwell’s contract in 2019 if it had known about the relationship. (RELATED: Becki Falwell Confirms Affair, Denies That Husband Jerry Was Involved)
Liberty also alleges that Falwell’s “personal impairment by alcohol” led him to “actions and courses of conduct detrimental to the spiritual mission of liberty.” The lawsuit points to an Instagram photo of Falwell and another Liberty employee in which Falwell’s pants are unzipped and he holds an alcoholic beverage. Falwell then appeared on a Lynchburg, Virginia radio station to defend his behavior. The evangelical news site Pulpit and Pen suggested that Falwell was drunk during the radio call.
Falwell served as President of Liberty from 2007 to 2020. His father, Jerry Falwell Sr., founded the school in 1971.